Oh- What are the Words?

I’m pretty sure Michael said that somewhere sometime. Does anyone else wonder about and have their own interpretation of some of Michael’s lyrics? There’s a track on the Olympia in Dublin Live Album where he talks about the internet sucking because it said that “Stipe himself has said he doesn’t know what he sings” :laughing:.We’ve all misheard lyrics I’m sure ( it was a revelation to a girl at Rockchoir that “another lonely day” in Go Your Own Way was nothing to do with thunder!) . So these 2 words in Find the River fascinate me: “Bergamot and Bellarom run through my head and fall away”. The properties of Bergamot essential oil are manyfold- uplifting, balancing, aiding sleep, stopping the heart racing, calming, relaxing, restoring and a natural antidepressant. What’s not to like? Personally, I spray it diluted on my pillow at night. My take on Bellarom is a lot funnier. We have a budget supermarket over here called Lidl and here is their own brand coffee:

I wonder if Michael knew he was singing about Lidl’s own brand coffee ?! :rofl:


To me it sounds more like what you’re saying “Bergamot and Bellarom" on both the record and live. On-line lyric searches it show up as “Bergamot and vetiver" Yeah, what are the words :smile:

On What’s The Frequency Kenneth - “I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed”
I thought it as “I was feeling, locked out, numb…”

Man On The Moon - Mr. Charles Darwin had the “gall” or “balls” to ask? Well, they both kind of mean the same thing.


Of course some lyrics he changes at will when singing live. Like trading Jefferson for Washington, “I think we’re lost”.

Well, keep in mind English is not my first language, even if I work with it daily, but… One little bit I spent years understanding wrong was “Stephen! Stephen! Stephen!”, :rofl: because I never took the time to look up the lyrics for “Ignoreland” online, lol.

I just listened to Ignoreland - you did well to get “Stephen!Stephen!Stephen!” . I guess I must have passed over the lyrics and just enjoyed the music. The whole album was just so good there were so many other great tracks I just largely “ignored” (joke- geddit?) this one! Mind you, I still can’t get most of them (he doesn’t half mumble)- worse than It’s the End of The World :rofl:

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Those particular lyrics were changed because they referred to their old co-manager, Jefferson Holt. They changed it to Washington after Holt was fired for allegations against his conduct.

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I know… but they changed, that’s just my point.

Ah, ok. When you said “at will” I thought you meant more “as the mood takes him”. Just pointing out there was a serious reason for that change.

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Hi Lori

I hear “brain dead, locked out, no, not up to speed” so not a great deal different from you in WTFK

and in Man on the Moon it must be “balls” as he grabs his private parts when performing that bit on stage (well he did at Glastonbury anyway) :astonished:!

For the record OP it’s “bergamot and vetiver”. That being the sweet, earthy smell component in many perfumes. But the Lidl coffee reference works too.

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Hi Sam

Yes, given that song lyrics like poetry originate from thoughts in the writer/composer’s own brain the whole process is fascinating to analyze as one involving inspiration of some kind although I very much doubt if Michael was inspired to mention Lidl or their signature real coffee Bellarom. Nevertheless, the combination of Bergamot and Bellarom has a pleasing poetical symmetry and alliteration to it to me at least (8 letters and the placement of them in the words). Particularly fascinating stuff when you have a keen listener who may hear something completely different from what is said or intended simply by virtue of having a different brain make up (you say tomahto, I say tomayto). The interpretation of humans’ language, communication and intentions- we could go on for hours……!

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You’re right! I just listened to a live performance and its distinctly vetiver! Chinese whispers!

I always hear balls live, gall on records.